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December 14, 2011


Leo Leung

Thanks for taking the time to write this, Chuck. Your advice has always been meaningful to me, and I still keep a lot of it top of mind. Happy holidays!

- Leo Leung

Chuck Hollis

Thanks, Leo, for the kind words. I hope your new gig is treating you well!

-- Chuck


I'm a former EMC'r and I recall seeing you practice these things - repeatedly. Except #10. But only because I could not personally observe it!

One thing I also note is that there is a number 11. It works, and it made you Chuck.

11. Ignore your critics.

Creativity, despite the desire to have more of it, is usually discouraged in business in favor of uniformity and conformity. Obviously, for the sake of presenting a united front, there need to be a great deal of 'marching together'. However, forward propulsion comes from adding fuel.

The creative stuff that is really different, makes people feel uncertain, which makes almost everyone feel negative and hence the idea is labeled 'impractical'. (What could go wrong? We've always done things another way! This is risky!)

Ignore your critics, and play the new tune. It is amazing what can happen for you (and others - don't forget them - right?) when we get brave, and do this - with the 10 items you listed above.

Mike @ NetApp.

PS -thanks for the competition and constant effort. It helps more than you will ever know!

Chuck Hollis

Hi Mike

Thanks for the kind thoughts. If I were being honest, I do listen to my critics carefully (using one of the rules above), I just don't agree with everything they say.

More to the point, if I were adding an 11th rule, perhaps it might be "Be Brave" -- look past the immediate negative reactions and give people time to come around.

Glad to hear your gig at NetApp is working well. Given the shift in our strategy here at EMC, we're not spending all that much time thinking about NetApp anymore -- bigger fish to fry -- but if it works for you, great!

-- Chuck


Thank you very much for taking the time to write such an excellent list.

-- Cosonok

Dan M.

Too funny.
I read this sentence:
"Looking back, I wish someone had shared some of this thinking with me 30 years ago when I set out in the working world."

And the first thing I thought of was "Nah, I was too much of a smart ass to have listened"

Then, I saw your next sentence:
"Then again, I was so darn stubborn back then I probably wouldn't have listened to any of it anyway ..."

And started laughing, mostly at myself.
Anyways, good tips. I've probably spent more time on #10 than I should have, but they're my choices and would not have done it any other way. Powder days are too valuable to waste.

Chuck Hollis




I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. In addition to trying to continually reinvent myself in my own job (and performing the job itself), I teach a Junior Achievers Class at an area high school. I am always looking for materials to bring in from "the real world" and I will be using this list during my next visit.

When talking to my students I keep stressing happiness as the ultimate goal (and let them know that they themselves must ascertain what makes them happy). It was great to see you further articulate the points I have been trying to get across during my first four classes.

I was made aware of your blog while attending your speech in Milwaukee earlier this year and have tried to check back in on a regular basis. Thanks for the insights and keep up the good work.


Chuck Hollis

Hi Lyle

I was a big fan of JA back in high school. I got a lot from the experience, so it's good to hear you're giving back to the future generation of entrepreneurs.

Thanks for the kind words!

-- Chuck

Allen julia

Thanks Chuck
You shared very informative tips for career.


Great advice, thanks Chuck!


Hi Chuck,

Thank you for this great blog. Loved the point #7.
Fantastic 2011 and Even exciting 2012.

- Sathish, EMC


Hi Chuck,
I stumbled upon your blog looking for "Virtualization vs Grid Computing". The career tips you have presented here are simple , direct yet effectual.

Dan Sigmon


As someone who has been fortunate to get to where I am in my career at a young age, I am always looking for advice and "standing on the shoulders of giants". Thanks for the great post.

I find I'm pretty good at that trend spotting you speak of as well. I hope we get the chance to speak in person one day. Would love to share some of those with you.

Dan @ EMC

Nishanta Banik

Thanks Chuck, your tips are career changing. I'll surely apply all these. You are the Example, the Man...

Antonio Serrano

Thanks Chuck, I follow your blog regularily and it's become a very inspiring source of thoughts and criteria.

Antonio @ emc

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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